Overshadowed it may be by the GeForce 8800 GTX's debut, but the nForce 6 chipset series was launched today too. Nvidia unveiled three models: the 650i Ultra, 650i SLI and 680i SLI. All three are designed to support Intel processors - hence the 'i'.
The 680i - seen in released-too-early pics last month - runs the range of Intel CPUs up to the quad-core Core 2 Quad and recently released Core 2 Extreme QX6700. Its frontside bus runs at up to 1,333MHz, handy for overclocking now and Intel CPUs with faster FSBs tomorrow.
Synchronise the 680i's FSB clock with its DDR 2 memory speed, and Nvidia's QuickSync Technology, debuting with the new chipset, can boost memory performance, the company said. The part supports two 16x PCI Express slots for two co-operatively rendering graphics cards, and an 8x slot for a third GPU to handle physics processing.
The 680i supports a single IDE channel, while the two 650i chipsets run two. The SLI chipset drives a pair of x8 PCIe slots, while the Ultra has just one. Both chipsets have four 3Gbps SATA ports, though they will support drives in RAID 0, 1, 0+1 and 5 configurations. Gigabit Ethernet is part of the package, along with Nvidia's FirstPacket quality-of-service system. They've got HD audio and dual-channel 800MHz DDR 2 memory controllers. ®